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Old 11-09-2012, 04:59 PM   #1
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Default Worth losing a customer over a pack of old yeast?

I will omit the name of the supplier to keep this clean and clear. I started using a new supplier for my past two orders simply because Northern sometimes takes a couple of days after placing my order for it to ship. As a result I often miss my brew day because the ingredients don't arrive within time so I starting using a closer supplier. I was very happy with my first order and everything about my second except for the Wyeast 2112 California Lager yeast I received, it's 5 months old. In the past my yeast orders have always been no more than 6 weeks old, though Northern surely has a high turn over rate. According to the yeast calcs this gives it 10% viability and no matter the starter size it won't be enough for my 1.052 recipe, especially given lager and hybrid yeast need more cell counts.

I called asking if I could possibly receive a store credit for the yeast mentioning the viability and was told they stock yeast up to six months old then discard it since Wyeast says it's good that long. I was told I can keep stepping it up, which IMO isn't worth the time investment for a $6 pack of yeast. I mentioned it would be unfortunate to lose a customer of such a small issue, and I was saying it very politely, not to be a douche, but I would go back to Northern since I've never had such an issue.

So I guess the questions are as follows:

1. Is the viability of the yeast as comprimised as the calcs say? Do the calcs take into account the liquid yeast being refrigerated the whole time?

2. Is it silly of me of me to avoid using the supplier or is it silly of the supplier to not make things right and keep a customer?

3. Are the calcs right that no matter the starter size without stepping it a few times I wouldn't have a good enough cell count for the beer?

This thread is not meant to be a complaint or vent, I honestly would just like to have those questioned answered. I am not angry nor do I will I say the company because this isn't a huge issue. The reason why I said they would lose a customer is not out of anger but because it's postponed my brew day and I would be worried of a repeat issue. Thanks.


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Old 11-09-2012, 05:05 PM   #2
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For my money, you are 100% in the right. If they knew they were sending old yeast to you, they should have sent extra (especially since they were about to throw it away).

From what I've read, the calcs are pretty accurate, refrigeration or not.

You should be able to eventually step it up (people do brew with yeast from the bottom of bottles, after all), but it's likely a LOT of steps, and by then, you are multiple generations in. Not a great thing to do at home.

If the supplier won't mke it right, go elsewhere.

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Old 11-09-2012, 05:06 PM   #3
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What does Wyeast have to say?

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Old 11-09-2012, 05:10 PM   #4
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Seems like they should have given you at least partial credit. I ran across an old pack of yeast at my LHBS. I didn't notice but the owner did while he was ringing me up at first just said, "Oh, you're not going to want this pack," but then he remembered that I make really large starters (didn't have to tell him even though it was months ago based on me asking if the mini auto-siphon would reach the bottom of a 5L flask) and he sold it to me for a big discount. The pack worked fine for my starter and the batch turned out great.

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Old 11-09-2012, 05:13 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by homebrewdad View Post
From what I've read, the calcs are pretty accurate, refrigeration or not.
See that's what I'm wondering about. So many people swear by yeast calcs and Mr. Malty so I'm kind of confused. I've read a number of threads where people used year old yeast with just a regular starter and had everything come out fine as usual. But this is the first time I am doing a California Common, I'm actually doing it more of a Pilsner but using this yeast, so I want to be sure the yeast will be fine. If something comes out not so great I don't want to question whether it's my recipe or that I used old yeast


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Old 11-09-2012, 05:16 PM   #6
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I work for a very large home improvement retailer. We are theoretically so big that one customer won't make a difference. HOWEVER, our focus on customer service is second to none. I have ordered product from Florida and shipped it to a customer in Alaska, even though the retail was far less than the cost of shipment, Just so I would make that custoner happy, and we can have return business, its a win win situation. Additonally, word of mouth is the greateat advertisement, for every one customer that you think you lost, you actually lose more like 10 due to them telling others of their issue. Given that this is what I do for my customers, I expect this in the retailers that I shop. Customers are the reason the company exists, not the other way around!!

My point is, you were right in expecting better quality product and the retailer should have been more flexible and gone to great lengths to make you satisfied. Dont feel bad for this. In fact, while I respect that you ommited the name of the company, I would like to know the name so that myself and others can stay clear of them.

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Old 11-09-2012, 05:19 PM   #7
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I think you should say who the retailer is. It would help others who might not know this particular retailer's policy on how long they keep yeast.

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Old 11-09-2012, 05:22 PM   #8
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I think you should say who the retailer is. It would help others who might not know this particular retailer's policy on how long they keep yeast.
I think the validity of said retailers claims should be verified with the yeast manufacturer before any semblance of slander is spread, anywhere.

If Wyeast does in fact support that their product is stable for 6 months, then there is no fault on the retailer.
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Old 11-09-2012, 05:25 PM   #9
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Have you actually tried to make a starter with it? Bobby M did a test on year old stored yeast here; http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f13/test...bility-126707/

And my LHBS cells outdated tubes and packs of yeast dirt cheap 2-3 dollars each and I usually grab a couple tubes of belgian or other interesting yeast when I am there and shove it in my fridge. and I have never had a problem with one of those tubes.

I usually make a starter but I once pitched a year old tube of Belgian High Gravity yeast directly into a 2.5 gallon batch of a Belgian Dark Strong, and after about 4 days it took off beautifully.
The purpose of a starter is to reproduce any viable cells in a batch of yeast....that;s how we can grow a starter form the dregs in a bottle of beer incrementally...and that beer may be months old.

To me, if it works it works, and that's all that really matters.

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Old 11-09-2012, 05:26 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GilaMinumBeer View Post
If Wyeast does in fact support that their product is stable for 6 months, then there is no fault on the retailer.
Good idea, let me see if I can give Wyeast a ring. Will report back on what they say.


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